Each year, I go back through all of the uploads I have put on YouTube to see which ones were the most popular, based on views, and post them on the site at the end of the year.
Every year I do this, someone writes in asking “How did I miss this one?” or “Thanks for re-posting that, because I didn’t see it the first tie around,” so I am going to continue the tradition this year as well.
As always, I invite you to subscribe to my channel and set up email notifications so that when I upload a new video, you instantly get a message and you can watch it.
Also, I hope you will hit the “Like” or “Thumbs up” button when you view my videos. This is the rating system that YouTube uses and by hitting this button, it will help my channel grow. Thank you so much for helping me out in this regard.
As you watch the videos, please feel free to go to the video and leave a comment, if you have any questions. I log all of the questions I get for the weekly show I do called “Cooking with Napalm.”
And now, let’s begin the countdown…
Top 20 Videos of 2014
20. #Yoketober Workout #1 – 873 Views
Yoketober took place during October, 2014. This program laid out an entire month of training here the Yoke, the traps, upper back, shoulders, and triceps, was trained in some fashion. I enjoyed this month greatly, and want to do something like this again. If you want to build your Yoke, you can still pick up Yoketober here: Yoketober – Build a Scary Yoke.
19. Grip Monster Challenge: IronMind Hub Lift – 888 Views
At the beginning of the year, Juha Harju of Finland, ran several rounds of GripMonster Challenges, and one of them was the IronMind Hub Lift. In this video, my partners, Luke Raymond and Dan Ely, and myself push one another to get some big lifts on the Hub.
18. Giant Goblet Squat – 200lb Kettlebell – Massive Upper Back Strength – 894 Views
Earlier this year, I borrowed a 200-lb Kettlebell from my friend Robbie. I uploaded a few different videos that featured this Kettlebell, and in this one, we attempt a Goblet Squat with it. Dan Ely, by far, got the best one out of us. This thing is freaky huge but a heck of a lot of fun to train with!
17. Pain Free Barbell Hip Thrusts – The Special Device I Use – 985 Views
One of my primary goals this year was to build bigger stronger legs. After years of avoiding leg training, I decided I’d have enough of being called “Chicken Legs” and “Light Bulb.” One of the lifts I began doing this year religiously was the Barbell Hip Thrust. However, I got sick of the pain of the barbell digging into my body really quick, so I began using my Saxon Bar instead. I have since graduated to a bigger Saxon Bar with a larger loading surface, so I don’t have to worry about plates falling off the sleeves or binding everything together using JumpStretch Bands.
16. Trying the Derek Poundstone 100 Rep Empty Barbell Curl Challenge – 1008 Views
I was introduced to the Poundstone Curl Challenge by my friend, Jason Steeves. At first, I thought this challenge was absolutely absurd, but tried it anyway. Then, after failing several times to come anywhere near 100-reps, I decided I would really try to focus on this. I have since succeeded in hitting 100-reps in the unloaded barbell as well as with an additional 5lbs of weight added. It really is a fun challenge and a good way to finish off an intense arm training session.
15. Upper Body Muscle Workout with Barbell and Dumbbells: Chest, Shoulders, Biceps – 1166 Views
In the Winter of 2014, it was so stinking cold in the garage, that I had enough and said, “Let’s Go to the Edge,” which is a pretty darned good gym in Towanda, PA owned by a friend of mine, Scott Wilcox. Luke and I went there for at least 2 or maybe 3 workouts during the Winter and we introduced Grip Training to some of the members, and watched a couple of them end up manhandling #2.5 grippers and even put a hurting on light #3’s. Here’s the highlights from one of those trips to the Edge.
14. Card Tearing: Ripping a Deck in Half and Then Quarters – 1208 Views
One day in the late Spring/early Summer, out of nowhere I got the urge to rip some cards, so I went and grabbed the first deck I could find and tried to quarter it. I got the first half, but my hands were cooked and couldn’t finish off the second half into quarters.
If you ever thought it would be cool to learn card tearing you were right. It is cool and lots of fun, and my Card Tearing eBook shows you exactly how to learn this awesome feat of strength.
13. 80lb Strict Dumbbell Curl – For 2 REPS Per Arm! – 1248 Views
I love all forms of curls. I don’t care what kind they are. One of my ultimate goals in training is to build 20″ arms cold, and another is to curl 100-lb dumbbells. I am getting closer, as in the video below I am able to knock out 2 reps per arm with 80’s.
12. Back Training with the Back Bull – 1296 Views
I’ve had the Back Bull in my equipment arsenal for several years and I love it. My Friday training partner, Mark, and I use it quite often throughout the year, mainly for Pull-ups. I did a video this year showing some of the ways I like to use the Back Bull, as well as why I think it is so awesome.
If you like the Back Bull, and want to learn more about it, check it out here: The Back Bull
11. How to Build Arm Size and Strength: Negative Preacher Curls – 1317 Views
During #AugustOfArms, I hit #31DaysOfArms and was very happy with the arm size increases I saw. One of the things I did throughout the month was mix up the types of contractions I was doing, so not only was I blowing up the volume with lots of isotonic work, but I also did isometric and eccentric-emphasized training, like I show below.
Are You Training to Lift the Blob?
Get the Ebook That Shows Exactly How to Train for This Famous Feat of Strength:
Lift the Blob: Even If You Have Small Hands
10. Get Super Strong Hands – High Volume Blob Training – Open Hand Strength Density – 1304 Views
At the beginning of the year, there were several cool challenges going on, especially the Grip Monster Challenges. These included Dips Plus Weight, Wall Curls, and several grip challenges like the one below – 50lb Blob to 50cm Platform for Max Repetitions. I ended up winning this challenge, eventually knocking out 20 repetitions with a 50-lb Blob.
9. Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists with Scale Weight Curls – 1527 Views
Throughout #AugustOfArms, I was trying to challenge myself to hit as many variations of arm work as possible, and one of them that I did several times was the Scale Weight Curl. I liked this one because not only did it make the biceps work hard, but it also hit the wrist with authority as well, and any time you can kill two birds with one stone with a lift, I am ALL ABOUT IT, BROTHER.
8. Build a Big Back – Sally Pull-up Challenge – 1812 Views
Since I began training wrestlers from my alma mater, I have always been looking for new ways to challenge them in order to make them better and stronger, both physically and mentally. One of the wrestlers showed me Sally Push-ups and we gave that a try. Once I saw how much they liked it, I knew we had to apply it to some other lifts as well, and one of them was Sally Pull-ups.
7. Poundstone 100 Rep Challenge – New PR – WOOOH! – 1823 Views
This is the second Poundstone Challenge video on the countdown, and it might be my “craziest” video I put up all year. I got into a different frame of mind for this video, and it resulted in a much better performance on the challenge than I had attained before that point.
6. Heavy Dumbbell Curls +/- 80×3 – Big Strong Biceps Training – 1941
I think my viewers like watching Dumbbell Curl videos as much as I love producing. That sounds like a match made in heaven to me! In the #6 video, I curl 80’s for a set of 3. I think I can probably do even more than this now, as recently my loading has been based on much heavier weights with lower volume, compared to lighter weights with higher volume through most of the summer.
5. Giant Kettlebell Swings – 200lb – 2 Hands and One – 1941 Views
People love watching GIGANTIC KETTLEBELLS getting lifted. This is the second video on the countdown of this monstrous 200-lb Kettlebell.
4. Leaning Press: Overhead Lifting WITHOUT Back Pain – 2105 Views
Back pain is something I’ve dealt with ever since my Freshman year in High School. It was a daily struggle of mine through most of the 2000’s. These days though, I’ve managed to reduce my number of Back Pain Episodes greatly. However, when I do hurt my back, I’ve found several work-arounds that allow me to still get my training in. This is one of them:
3. Grip Monster Challenge – Dip Plus Weight: Jedd Johnson 404.9lbs – 2460 Views
Here’s one of the Grip Monster Challenges that didn’t actually have to do with Grip Strength. This is the Weighted Dip. I believe I came in 2nd or 3rd place in this lift. Great times. I certainly think Heavy Weighted Dips are a great training method, although constantly testing your 1RM all the time isn’t completely necessary.
2. Pain Free Pull-ups | Build Your Back | No Elbow Pain – 3568
Pull-ups are a great back builder. Unfortunately, if I do too many of them on a regular Pull-up Bar, I often start feeling pain in my wrists, elbows and shoulders. That doesn’t mean I don’t do them though. This video shows a whole bunch of variations I like to use. This also marks the second video where the Back Bull makes an appearance.
1. Lifting the 200-lb Kettlebell – 7325 Views
And now it’s time for my most popular video of the year, based on views. With more than 7,000 views this year alone, it’s yet another video featuring the Giant 200-lb Kettlebell.
WOOOH – there it is, brotherrrr – the Top 20 Countdown of 2014’s top videos is complete!
Thank you for watching, rating, and sharing my videos this year. I truly appreciate your support.
Make sure you are signed up for email updates, so you know when knew videos and blog posts come out on the site.
All the best in your training,
Wanna Close Bigger Grippers?
Master Your Technique to Maximize Your Crush:
CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination
Avoiding Arm Pain from Kettlebell Training
Kettlebells continue to become more and more common in gyms and more popular these days.
And no wonder – they have proven to be very useful tools that can help you accomplish your strength, muscle and fat burning goals.
But, even with all their awesome benefits, if your form is off, kettlebells can cause some issues if your not careful.
Here are three very common errors in kettlebell training that can lead to elbow pain if you don’t correct them.
1. Grip in the Rack
When you hold a kettlebell near your chest/shoulder, it is called the Rack. This is a starting point for lifts such as the Kettlebell Press and Jerk, so it is also a common position to be in.
Unfortunately, this can also be a very annoying position if your technique is off. The kettlebell can sit on your forearm in a way that cause pain.
This pressure can later cause further issues in your elbow if you don’t correct things right away.
Luckily, this can usually be corrected by adjusting how you hold the kettlebell. By changing where and how your hand is positioned, you can reduce a lot of the pressure (you’ll see it later).
2. Crashing on the Snatch
New Kettlebell lifters often experience brutal forearm pain when performing Snatches, because they catch the kettlebell incorrectly at the top of the movement.
Usually, this comes from being too passive at the end of the Snatch. Lifters get into the habit of letting the kettlebell handle swivel in their hand. This may be what it looks like should be going on, but it is not.
When the kettlebell handle spins in the hand like this, the giant belly of the KB will smash with full force into the forearm, and this can cause deep contusions, surface bruising, and even knock the forearm bones slightly out of whack.
Having a tender forearm is bad enough, but when bones are starting to get moved around, that can throw up every press, row and curl movement you do in the gym.
Instead, what you need to do when finishing the snatch is allow the kettlebell to turn on an axis in the center of the bell itself.
This video shows exactly what you should do:
3. Bottom Portion of the Swing
The Swing is one of the foundational movements of Kettlebell lifting. It is a lift in itself, plus it the initial stage of many other lifts, such as the Snatch and Clean, because it is the most efficient way to bring the kettlebell from the floor to the shoulder or overhead position. Remember that word – “Efficient.”
When many lifters are starting out, they develop a habit where they keep their hand and forearm pronated at the bottom of the swing. That is, at the very bottom of the Swing, their palm is facing to the sky and the back of their hand is facing the ground.
In the true spirit of efficiency, this is not what should be done. Mechanically, during this follow-through portion of the swing, you should allow your forearm and hand to actually turn over BEYOND pronation. Otherwise, you are essentially resisting this rotation and fighting the bell.
Considering the number of repetitions that are possible with Kettlebell Swings, fighting the bell like this could potentially add up to a great deal of stress on the common flexor tendon in the forearm and result in pain that can be very irritating and get in the way of a great deal of your other training as well.
Correct Your Technique with This Video
These 3 areas of kettlebell training are easily fixed, once the lifter is made aware of them. The problem is that most people don’t even realize they are setting themselves up for injury to their forearm and elbows until it is too late.
For more information on how you can correct and prevent injuries and pain in the forearm and elbow, check out Fixing Elbow Pain. This program has helped hundreds of lifters get back to pain-free workouts and healthy lower arms.
Pick it up today => Fixing Elbow Pain
All the best in your training,
York Barbell, June 2011
Today I have an interview with Michael Krivka, Sr. I first met Michael at my RKC certification in 2010 and then hung with him later on in 2011 at the York Barbell Museum when Slim the Hammerman Farman and the Mighty Adam Joe Greenstein were inducted into their Hall of Fame.
To the right you can see former York Employee, Mike Locondro with his brown jacket towards the left of the photo and then Michael Krivka (black shirt, white sleeve with print) is standing next to Slim “The Hammerman” Farman, on the right (black outfit, white goatee).
Recently, Michael put out a pretty cool ebook, Code Name Indestructible, based around the James Bond movies, so I reached out to him and asked him if he’d be interested in an interview. He agreed, and along the way I found out some pretty cool things about him too.
Jedd: Michael, thanks for taking the time to do the interview with me and everyone at DieselCrew.com.
It’s my pleasure Jedd and thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you and the community at Diesel Strength and Conditioning!
Jedd: First, could you tell us a bit about yourself, your training history, etc.
Michael: I’m a 50 year old Washington, DC native and I’ve been involved in physical training for the better part of my life. I started training in the martial arts when I was thirteen (starting with Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Western Fencing, Judo, Ninjutsu, etc.) and I still teach several times a week. I’ve been a student of Guro Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s training partner, for over 25 years and I’m a full instructor in JKD and the Filipino Martial Arts (Kali, Escrima and Arnis) as well an instructor in Lameco Eskrima.
You know me from the Russian Kettlebell arena where I have been an RKC (Russian Kettlbell Certified) for over a decade. I actually started lifting back when I was in High School to add some mass to my five foot ten inch frame. I graduated from High School at ninety eight pounds (scary isn’t it) and after spending some serious time in the gym working with my college football team I added eighty five pounds to my frame by the time I graduated four years later. To say that I bulked up would be an understatement. People who knew me from High School didn’t recognize me four years later!
I’m also a Crossfit Level I Trainer, CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer, and CrossFit Olympic Lifting Coach.
I know you from the realm of Kettlebell Training. Is this your primary mode of training and what made you transition to it?
I was originally introduced to Kettlebells when I was training in Sambo (Russian Combat Martial Art). I was training at one of the Russian embassies in downtown Washington, DC (with some “secret squirrel-types”) and saw a couple of Kettlebells in the corner of the training hall and asked one of my training partners about them. He showed me a couple things like the Swing, High Pull (one and two hand) and the “Two Hand Snatch” (what we now call the CrossFit or American Swing). I thought they were great because they reinforced the striking and throwing skills that we were practicing in Sambo.
Shorty thereafter a martial arts friend of mine from California mentioned that he had read about Kettlebells in a magazine (Milo) and that he had started training with them. I did a little research on the Internet (thanks Al Gore!) and found that there was going to be a two-day workshop given by Mike Mahler the following weekend so I signed up! I went to the workshop and was immediately floored by what you could do with the Kettlebell. People joke about “drinking the Kool-Aid” but man I was chugging the stuff! I fell in love with Kettlebell training and left on Sunday afternoon with the Kettlebell I was training with all weekend… and I still have it!
Now (over ten years later) I do most of my training with either Kettlebells or body weight with a healthy dose of Barbell work thrown, mostly Deadlifts, Cleans, Military Presses, Jerks and Snatch. I train five to seven days a week doing hybrid Russian Kettlebell and CrossFit workouts, with several martial arts classes thrown in for good measure.
What level of experience do you have as a Kettlebell Instructor or Coach?
Michael: Well, I’m currently an RKC Team Leader but have been an RKC for over a decade. I’ve attended, I think, seven or eight RKC’s, the first and only RKC Convention in Las Vegas (that’s a story for a different time!), the Combat Application Specialist certification (which was the original RKC II), the CK-FMS, and the Body Weight Training Workshop (with Max Shank and Mark Reifkind). I have also been to several non-RKC Kettlebell certifications (not a good idea once you’ve been to an RKC and seen the quality and expertise presented there) as well as CrossFit certifications and mobility/flexibility workshops. As far asexperience outside of certifications and workshops: I’ve been running group workout classes seven days a week for the last five years and prior to that was teaching classes three to five days a week. That doesn’t count the time I put in for my own training and technique development. I can honestly say that I’ve had a Kettlebell in my hands pretty much every day for almost a decade – with the exception of a couple days when I was sick or recovering from surgery! I’m not happy without my daily dose of Iron!
Jedd: For those who may not be familiar, what exactly is the RKC?
The RKC, which stands for Russian Kettlebell Certification, is a three-day certification that exposes you to the seven foundational techniques: the Deadlift, Swing, Squat, Clean, Press, Snatch and Turkish Get-up. Three days of hands-on training, critique and evaluation with some of the top Kettlebell instructors in the world will give you a strong foundation to build upon when you return home. Some people are amazed at the changes in their technical ability and are awestruck by the changes they feel over the course of a weekend. I’ve been to a lot of certifications and I’ve seen some pretty incredible work come out of them. I can honestly say that the RKC experience is the top of the line when it comes to hands-on training. I’ve been to a lot of workshops and certifications in my lifetime, between physical fitness, strength, and martial arts, and nothing (and I do mean NO THING) compares to the level of training you will receive there. Yep, it’s a lot more expensive than other certifications – and it’s worth it!
Jedd: When I saw you at York Barbell in 2011, you were running a Wounded Warrior project centered around Kettlebell Training. Could you tell us a bit more about that: what is it, how you got involved, and do you continue to do so today?
Michael: We were there as part of the events we had scheduled for a charity we started called “Kettlebells for Warriors” whose goal is to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and other charities that support our returning troops. We started Kettlebells for Warriors after having a discussion with my good friend Mike Locondro about how we felt we could do more to help out those who were returning with Traumatic Brain Injuries, PTSD, loss of limbs, and other physical injuries. It was a great idea but we needed a vehicle to get the process moving and we settled on using the Kettlebell due to it’s universal appeal in the military and elite fitness communities. We’ve been holding events each year and are in the process of re-focusing our fund raising efforts in order to maximize our impact. We are planning on having one large international event in 2013 and several smaller national events that will bring people together to have a great time working out and raising money for a good cause.
Jedd: Recently, you put out a new product called Code Name: Indestructible. Could you tell us about how you went about designing this program?
Michael: Code Name: Indestructible (CNI) was a labor of love! I’ve been a fan of the James Bond movies (and books) my whole life and I’ve seen each and every one of them countless times. A couple years ago I was rummaging around for an idea for a series of workouts and I put together the “Bond Girl” series. Let me tell you – these were crazy workouts! A lot of fun but just complete bi@#$es to do – which pretty much fits the Bond Girls themselves! Anyway, along with that series I started playing with the idea of doing a series of workouts based on the movies but never really finished the project. When I started hearing more about the most recent Bond film “Skyfall” I broke out my notes and started looking at finally completing the series. I even went back and watched a bunch of the movies over again to inspire me to create some really challenging workouts that would mirror the physical requirements Bond would need to survive.
Jedd: I can tell you are an amazing James Bond movie buff, due to the name of your ebook, and the workouts that your ebook includes. Could you tell us how you go about constructing workouts?
Michael: I’ve got to tell you that I had to modify some of the original workouts, not because they were too hard (and they were), but because there wasn’t a clear purpose behind the workout. Call it inexperience, but the purpose of the original series was to crush the person without a clear-cut plan or progression. I like to think that I’m a lot smarter now, but I could be wrong! Anyway, I went back and re-constructed some of the workouts and then created brand new ones for the remainder.
I have to say that I have been STRONGLY influenced by the work of Pavel and especially Dan John. I’ve always enjoyed reading Dan’s books, blog and his articles, and I can honestly say that my workouts have become better due to his influence. In particular I have found his breaking down of the basic movement skills into Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry and Other Ground Work (i.e. the Turkish Get-up) to be revolutionary. I tend to look at my clients through this framework and then design workouts around the “holes” they have in their movement patterns. If you look at the workouts in CNI you will see the hand of Dan John in many of them – kind of like Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s multiple appearances as James Bond’s nemesis! BTW – true “Bondphiles” will know what I’m talking about!
Jedd: Right now many people will be committing to bettering their health in various ways. Could your product help these people out?
Michael: That’s a great question Jedd and the answer is: ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY! Along with the James Bond-themed workouts are several chapters on how to properly program the workouts to assure your success. Dan John, who wrote the Preface to CNI, mentioned that you really need to read the first part of the book before you jump into the workouts to get the best results!
I’m a firm believer in having a plan in place in order to succeed, and if you go after a goal without a plan in place, with definitive steps in place, you are not going to succeed. CNI goes into a lot of depth about how you should plan, monitor and review your workouts in order to guarantee you make progress and that you succeed. I think this information is the most important part of the book and that it will most likely get overlooked! The workouts are great and a lot of fun and I’m concerned that people will skip right over the background guidance content and skip right to the workouts!
Jedd: For those who might pick this ebook up, what level of expertise with kettlebells should they have?
Michael: I think a beginner with Kettlebells can get CNI and be able to do all of the workouts. One thing you have to understand about any of the workouts, and my own personal training and teaching strategy, is that you can scale and modify any workout and still keep its effectiveness. Let’s say that one of the workouts has Kettlebell Snatch and Pull-ups in it and you are absolutely horrible at both of them! Do you skip that workout and try to find another one? Nope – scale it! Can you do One-Hand Swings or One-Hand High Pulls? Great! Get rid of the Kettlebell Snatch and do those instead. Can’t do Pull-ups? How about doing Jumping Pull-ups or Ring Rows instead? You’re still going to get an amazing workout and when you finally develop the additional skills (Kettlebell Snatch and Pull-ups) the workout will seem brand new to you.
Jedd: Are the movements in the ebook covered as far as how to do them properly, either by stills or video demonstrations?
Michael: Each workout has a brief review of the skills required to accomplish the “mission” and I try to give succinct pointers on how to do them safely and effectively. I’ve even put in links to techniques that you may not know how to do in several workouts. For the most part, if you don’t know how to do a particular technique, you’ll be able to find a video on YouTube or go to your website for examples of how to do them. Just be sure to check out the credentials of the person who is demoing the technique and stay away from anything associated with Jillian Michaels!
Jedd: I noticed that many of your workouts are not entirely based on using kettlebells alone. What other types of equipment do your workouts include and why?
Michael: While I think the Russian Kettlebell is any amazing tool for building full-body strength and endurance it can’t meet all of your strength and conditioning needs. I think a heavy dose of Body Weight skills (i.e. Push-ups, Pull-ups, Sit-outs, Handstands, Crawling, etc.) along with Olympic and Powerlifting techniques have to be included to add size and strength. I’ve even included my favorite “torture device” the Wheel of Pain (WOP) aka the Ab Wheel in this series. If you’ve never learned how to use this tool properly you are in for a world of hurt!
Jedd: Aside from your expert ability at weaving James Bond themes into your ebook, what else sets this apart from other kettlebell training programs?
Michael: I think there are a lot of things that distinguish this program from others that are on the market right now. First, I’ve actually put people through each and every one of these workouts and get feedback on all of them. These just aren’t products of my imagination – they’ve been field-tested and refined and then tested again. Second, I’m not going to blow smoke up any of your orifices with this program – it’s hard and it’s meant to be. I’m not going “slash inches off of your waistline” or “instantly add twenty pounds to your bench press”. What I am going to do is challenge your athletic ability and make you stronger and more durable. Some of the workouts are going to make you wonder why you’ve been hiding behind a machine for so long and not doing the things that are going to make you healthier and more resilient. Finally, I’ve been around the block a couple times and the people that I respect in the Strength and Conditioning community know me and have looked over this program and have given it “two thumbs up” across the board. I didn’t write CNI to make a fast buck or to create an instant reputation for myself. My reputation and credentials are already in place and I wrote CNI because so many of my friends, colleagues, and clients insisted that I get some of this info on paper and out into the public’s hands.
Jedd: Michael, thanks a lot for all the information today.
Michael: Thanks so much Jedd for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers my thoughts on training and information about Code Name: Indestructible. I hope they enjoyed learning more about it and keep up the amazing work that you are doing at DieselCrew.com!
Follow the banner below to check out Code Name Indestructible
Tags: kettlebell fitness, kettlebell program, kettlebells
Posted in advanced kettlebell training feats, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, kettlebell training | 1 Comment »
Note from Jedd: Many people have wondered whether the Version 2.0 of the Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling covers the basic of kettlebell juggling. It does indeed cover that. Also, several years ago, I put up the following article covering the technique I started with in kettlebell juggling, the Kettlebell forward flip and catch. Check it out below.
Don’t forget – Logan has extended the contest for the free iPad through this weekend, so make sure to try to attain at least Level 1 amongst the Kettlebell Juggling Progression List and Ranking System.
Photo Source: Niki DeSantis. Athlete: Mike Rankin
If you’ve been around the NET at all, you’ve seen a lot of video clips where people juggle kettlebells. There are tons of different ways to juggle kettlebells. I’ve seen guys do it behind their back, going between their legs, and even juggling more than one bell at a time.
While you may also have the goal of mastering the art of kettlebell juggling, it’s important to start out on the right foot or else you could get very frustrated and maybe even injured by improper technique. The way I started out was by performing what I call the Forward Flip and Catch.
In order to get started with kettlebell juggling, it’s important to understand a few simple points.
Juggling Starts With a Swing
In order to juggle a kettlebell, you have to be able to get the kettlebell up near the chest and neck area. Once the kettlebell is in this position, you have a window of opportunity to impart other forces upon it to make the juggling possible.
If you are dealing with a heavy kettlebell, I’m talking something over 50 lbs, then you need to get your whole body involved to get the kettlebell up high enough.
This should be done by performing a swing. If you are no good at kettlebell swings, then you should master that movement before moving on to juggling.
The swing looks like this.
The bell is projected to this height not just by lifting it with the shoulder and arm, but rather it is propelled to that position by the lower body, especially the power of the hips and glutes. After the kettlebell is pulled through the legs, the hips are snapped and the bell travels upward in its trajectory. This hip power is also responsible for getting the flip going.
Transition to a High Pull
In the standard Kettlebell Swing, the arm is kept straight. Unfortunately, it is difficult to express any power into the kettlebell if your arm is straight, so it is necessary to transition the swing into a high pull.
The High Pull is performed slightly different from a barbell high pull, however. Instead of pulling the bell up in a primarily straight line, the bell comes up in the arc and then is pulled backward for the high pull portion.
It is this slight back pull that brings the bell closer to your body where you can then exert other forces into it and make it flip around so that you can juggle it.
The Thumb Push
In this example, we will perform the Forward Flip. Once the bell reaches it’s highest point, it is time to make it flip.
Hand Radially Deviated as Thumb Pushes the Handle Away
For a Forward Flip, the thumb is the part of your hand that will actually make the kettlebell flip, because it is the last part of the hand that contacts the kettlebell handle. With this in mind, you can also slightly shift your hand into radial deviation so that you can optimize the positioning of the thumb and propel the bell forward to initiate the flip.
Catching the Bell
It is important to understand that when flipping and juggling kettlebells, the axis about which the kettlebell spins is within the bell and not the handle. Grasping this concept will allow you to better predict where the handle will be when you go to grab and catch it.
Kettlebell Spinning 180 Degrees on its Axis, Falling Only Inches
As you can see in the series above, the kettlebell spins on an axis near the center. The handle flies forward and down, moving into position for the catch.
If your technique is dialed in you will catch the bell in almost the same exact spot you flipped it. You can even get your other hand into position beneath the bell ahead of time, as pictured above.
After you try the Forward Flip a few times, you’ll be able to predict where the handle will be. Once you get the feel you will be able to move your hand to find the kettlebell handle and secure it again in your grasp.
Receiving and Returning the Bell
Once you figure out the tempo of the Swing / High Pull / Flip sequence, you will be able to rip off several Forward Flips in a row. However, just like any other kettlebell lift, efficiency is important in order to put together a string of Forward Flips.
Many beginner jugglers find it hard to put together Forward Flips in succession because once they catch the bell they fail to maintain an arc in the bell path. If they try to catch the bell and drop it straight down, they will lose a lot of momentum. Instead, you should try to catch the bell by the handle and then let the bell pass back down through the legs. By maintaining this arc, you can more easily explode back into another swing, high pull, and flip.
Putting it All Together
Here is everything put together in action. Notice the path of the bell upwards, the location of my hands, and the quick transition into the next repetition.
Hopefully, the sequences of still shots and the video help you understand the basics of kettlebell juggling.
Once you get that one down, then you can progress from there. Here’s the progression to work on for basic juggling.
- Same Hand Forward Flip and Catch (shown first in video)
- Hand to Hand Forward Flip and Catch (shown at end of video)
- Same Hand Sideways Forward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Sideways Forward Flip and Catch
- Same Hand Backward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Backward Flip and Catch
- Same Hand Sideways Backward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Sideways Backward Flip and Catch
That should get you started! All the best with your juggling.
Learn How to Juggle Kettlebells with The G0-To Resource,
The Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling 2.0, from Logan Christopher:
Tags: clean, high pull, how to flip kettlebells, how to juggle kettlebells, kettlebell, kettlebell clean, kettlebell flip, kettlebell flipping, kettlebell high pull, kettlebell juggling, kettlebell snatch, kettlebell swing, snatch, swing
Posted in advanced kettlebell training feats, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, kettlebell training, old strongman feats of strength, strength training muscle building workouts | 7 Comments »
As I write this, I just finished an interview with Logan Christopher. In it, we focus on Kettlebell Juggling and its many benefits.
Logan Christopher on Kettlebell Juggling < = For Best Results, Right Click the Link and Save the Audio File to Your Computer/Device.
Logan has a new release out, the Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling 2.0.
I got a copy of his original Kettlebell Juggling DVD set several years ago and it was awesome. I could not believe the lengths and the detail he covered in that DVD Set.
This is the testimonial I sent Logan as soon as I was done watching Logan’s original Kettlebell Juggling Guide:
- “Logan, you have put together an outstanding resource for kettlebell juggling. I thought it was great how you were able to organize all of the various juggling techniques and then lay them out in a progressive format. In my training, I have done several different types of kettlebell throws and catches, but you opened up doors of variation that I have not seen or used in the past! I especially liked the way you maneuver the bell behind your back, through the legs and how you incorporate moving over a distance with your throws. I recommend this DVD set to anyone who is looking to open a new chapter in their kettlebell training!”
As big as the original Guide to KB Juggling was (an awesome 2-DVD set) Version 2.0 is even bigger. You’ve got to check this thing out: Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling 2.0.
All the best in your training.
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